NC State Wolfpack: CFN College Football Preview 2021

Mike Watters-USA TODAY Sports

NC State Wolfpack: CFN College Football Preview 2021

2021 Preview

NC State Wolfpack: CFN College Football Preview 2021


NC State Wolfpack College Football Preview 2021: Keys To The Season

NC State Wolfpack Biggest Key: Offense

Enough with all of the turnovers. The talent is there on offense, but the mistakes have to stop after giving up the ball 40 times in the last 21 games. Not surprisingly, the Wolfpack are 1-6 the last seven times they turned it over three times or more, and 3-9 when they give it up more than once.

The offensive line hasn’t been great in pass protection, but that’s only part of the problem. Fumbles, ill-timed interceptions – as opposed to the well-timed ones – and too many big errors have been a killer. The team fell off the map in 2019 when it started screwing up, and last year it went 6-1 when it gave it up fewer than twice.

NC State Wolfpack Biggest Key: Defense

Stop the run. Duh, along with not turning the ball over it’s what every team wants to do, but it’s a bigger deal for NC State than it is for most.

It’s been a bad combination for the program to have a turnover issue on one side while the other side can’t control teams from taking over games on the ground. The O starts to press, and bad things happen.

NC State allowed more than 150 rushing yards five times last year. Four of those games were the four losses, and the one win was against the run-first-run-only Georgia Tech squad.

Giving up 150 rushing yards isn’t all that bad, but NC State is 1-10 over the last two seasons when it does. That’s after giving up over 400 to Texas A&M in the 52-13 nail-biter of a TaxSlayer Bowl to close out the 2018 season.

NC State Wolfpack Key Player To A Successful Season

DT CJ Clark, RFr.
The idea is for Florida State transfer Cody Durden to potentially step in and be the rock in the middle who gums up everything against the run, but the 300-pound Clark isn’t a bad option to get the starting nod on the nose in the team’s attempt to replace Alim McNeill. The talent is there, he’s got the size, and he’s got a little experience making 24 stops in his redshirt freshman campaign.

NC State Wolfpack Key Game To The 2021 Season

at Boston College, Oct. 16
Of course the program will be jacked for its ACC opener against Clemson at home on September 25th, but let’s just assume that will go the other way. With USF, at Mississippi State, Furman and Louisiana Tech all before the week off in mid-October, the Pack should be at worst 3-2, and reasonable best 4-1.

And then comes the trip to Boston College. It’s not that the Eagles are amazing, but it’s the start of a brutal run of four road games in five weeks. NC State is good enough to be everyone on the slate during the stretch, but lost to BC, and the trip to Miami the next week is a really, really big deal to avoid a likely 0-3 ACC start.

NC State Wolfpack Schedule Breakdown & Analysis

2020 NC State Wolfpack Fun Stats

– Time of Possession: Opponents 31:18 – NC State 28:42
– Field Goals: Opponents 21-of-24 – NC State 12-of-17
– Rushing Yards Per Game: Opponents 174 – NC State 123

NEXT: NC State Wolfpack College Football Preview 2021: What Will Happen, Season Prediction


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